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We Love Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper (born Dorothy Tuckerman November 22, 1889, died March 11, 1969) was an influential and innovative American interior decorator of the early to mid 20th century.

She was born into the aristocratic Tuckerman family in the Tuxedo Park section of New York State. Her great-grandfather, Oliver Wolcott, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Dorothy stated later that she had "no schooling to speak of, except that I was brought up where I had the privilege of being constantly in touch with surroundings of pleasant good taste,".Extensive travel in Europe added to her observations; after she married Dr. George Draper in 1912 and continued to live in glamor, she redecorated her homes in such style that other high society friends were asking her to do the same for their homes. Soon, she was being hired by architects; Douglas Elliman then hired her to re-do New York's Hotel Carlyle. Over the years, she did makeovers for New York's Hampshire House, World's Fair Terrace Club, and Maison Coty; Chicago's Drake Hotel's Camelia House, Washington's Mayflower Hotel; and Hollywood's Arrowhead Springs Hotel; West Virginia's Greenbrier. Also, she designed the interiors of the famous Palácio Quintandinha in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1944.   Among decorators, it was said that these locations had been "Draperized".

She was one of the few early women to really delve into the male dominated construction industry. Her style was big, brash, bodacious, bold, and bordered on what some would consider gaudy, shocking both men and women of her day. She was a predecessor of Morris Lapidus, the architect that would redesign, stylistically as well as almost literally, all of Miami Beach. The two had similar styles and approaches, yet his was firmly modernistic, while she still used traditional elements and principles in her work, albeit grandiosely.

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posted Mon, 12/27/2010 by Charles David